Monday, May 19, 2014

5 Relationship Myths

If you were all alone in the universe with no one to 
talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars,
 to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life?

It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning.

Mitsugi Saotome

Relationships are an essential part of our lives. Through our relationships we learn to grow and discover the reflections of our best selves in those around us. But there are also some common beliefs about relationships that get us hung up, so let's take a moment to explore a few of the biggest myths about relationships.

1. There is Only One Person for You

If this was true then you would still be dating your second grade crush! This is one of the greatest myths and the one that causes so many relationships to turn bitter and sour, and in the worst case scenario, it keeps people together when they are miserable. 

We don’t get only “one” person, we get to choose who remains a part of our life when that relationship is the most loving, fulfilling, and purposeful. Life is in constant motion, and since life is constantly changing, so are we. In relationships, we change individually and we also change together—or we don't. We can continue to choose the same person over and over again, but we are not obligated to stay in any relationship that’s not adding to our growth. Healthy relationships are always based in freedom, not obligation. If your relationship is starting to crack, look at where you need to be more flexible, loving, and understanding. Communication is key. Listen to one another, ask for what you need, be respectful, and always keep both of your best interests in mind. Relationships are, indeed, a two-way street!

2. "I’ve had a tough life, and a relationship will help heal my wounds."

While it is true that your relationships will bring up everything in your life that is unhealed or broken (emotionally or spiritually), you do not want to use your relationship/partner to heal you—that is something you need to do for yourself. If you rely on your partner to fix you, you’ve not taken responsibility for yourself—and when we rely on someone else for our happiness, we cannot ever be truly happy. Happiness always begins within you.

3. Being in a Relationship is Better Than Being Alone

Not if it’s a bad relationship! Remember: relationships are opportunities for us to connect with like minds and spirits in order to understand ourselves and explore our potential to create a larger experience. If you are using a relationship to mask loneliness (which is based in fear, not love) your relationship may allow you to temporarily forget your loneliness, but loneliness will still be there. Being in a healthy relationship with yourself reduces loneliness. Also, by staying involved in a relationship that's not helping you grow you cannot attract a healthy relationship that will—you already have that vacancy filled! Only when you have created the space for something healthy can it step into your life.

4. In Relationships, Opposites Attract

Personalities with opposing attributes may attract at first (simply due to the variety and contrast they bring), but rarely sustain. Having a range of different qualities and interests can certainly be appealing—especially when first meeting someone—but in the long run you will need to find more common ground on which to walk together. Use your differences to teach one another about aspects of yourself you have yet to explore, and use your relationship to mutually help each other grow. Focus on your differences as strengths, and whether you agree or not, always be respectful.

5. "I’ve tried being in a relationship, but I always seem to mess things up."

You will get what you intend. When looking at past relationships, examine why you went into the relationship in the first place. To fill a void in your life? Take the place of something you didn't have? Find someone to take care of?

Entering a relationship out of "lack" will just bring more of it. Start by developing a healthy relationship with yourself before going into a relationship with another. If you're already in a relationship and need to find more balance, take time out for yourself—find peace with yourself, your past, and your decisions. If you believe that you will “mess up” a relationship, your beliefs will fuel your attitudes, actions, and words, and direct you into sabotage mode. In time, the relationship will, indeed, fail—it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Set your course for success! Believe that you deserve and will have positive, loving relationships.

As we enter into the summer of 2014, choose to create healthy and happy relationships in all areas your life and watch the results. After all, it's your choice.

To Your Better Balance!

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Find better balance in your life, relationships, and work. 
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